Fish Conservation and Culture Laboratory (FCCL)
Since 1996, the FCCL has conserved and cultivated the Delta Smelt. Located 80 miles south of Davis near Byron, CA, one of the facilities main goals is housing a refuge population and research center for Delta Smelt. Visit the FCCL website here.
The laboratory is currently directed by Biological and Agricultural Engineering faculty member, Tien-Chieh Hung, Ph. D.
What does the FCCL do?
The effort of culturing Delta Smelt dates back to 1992 when they were proposed for listing as an endangered species. In 2007, the Delta Smelt population fell to worrisome levels. The California Department of Fish and Game and the US Department of Fish and Wildlife Service, suggested culturing and genetically managing the species. This lead to the current refuge population housed at the FCCL.
Longfin Smelt is another example of a compromised wild species. However, the availability of Longfin Smelt to researchers is highly variable which resulted in challenges to their cultivation.
This program is a breeding and rearing plan for Delta Smelt with the ultimate goal of minimal derivation from the wild population. Nearly 300 families are managed per year and the refuge population has crossed beyond the 11th generation. See more information about the refuge population by visiting the FCCL website.
The main research at the FCCL centers on the basic biology of smelt as well as research into the improvement of culture techniques: fish marking, reproduction, behavior, feeding, aquacultural engineering and live prey culture.
The FCCL is also proud to collaborate with federal and state agencies, private companies, and research groups at UC Davis. Projects include--but are not limited to--natural stimuli, contamination, exposure, modeling, egg treatment, tagging, and food limitation.
The information presented here is from the FCCL Flyer and can be found on the FCCL website.